Minerals Supplements have always been an integral part of Ayurvedic treatment and practice. The science and art of Ayurveda goes back for several thousands of years. Ayurvedic practitioners who followed ancient texts documented Ayurveda’s medicinal uses for thousands of years. Ayurveda emphasizes the beneficial effects of minerals, but in this article we’ll only discuss a few. Because Ayurvedic dietary supplements and healing processes do not rely solely on these minerals alone, it is important to be familiar with the others as well.
There are four main categories of Ayurvedic dietary supplements – Amalaki, Arogya-Vardhini, Triphala-Guggulu and Medohar-Guggulu. They are all used primarily in traditional, western medicine and have been confirmed to have beneficial effects when used in conjunction with Ayurvedic medicine. However, there are many minerals that can be used in Ayurvedic formulations, including non-metal salts of iron, aluminum, calcium, chromium and manganese. Ayurvedic medicine includes a large variety of different dosages depending on the condition. Ayurvedic minerals supplements are classified by metallic ions or compounds, including metallic ions, non-metallic ions and salts.
Metallic ions or compounds include lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, tin, bromine, iodine, sulfur and lithium. Non-metal ions include selenium, zinc, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, chloride, bromine and iodine. Commonly used minerals in Ayurvedic formulations are alloys, which are combinations of two or more metals to create a new metal. Compounds derived from plant materials are known as saponins. Mineral extracts used in Ayurvedic medicine are also complex mixtures composed of different metallic salts of organic compounds.
One type of mineral that is used in Ayurvedic medicine is the metal sulfide. Ayurvedic practitioners and researchers have found that there are many minerals, including sulfur, used for detoxification of the body. Sulfur has been found to stimulate activity of the kidneys, gall bladder, pancreas and small intestine. Other metallic salts of sulfur have been found to have antiseptic, antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Ayurvedic doctors recommend the use of a combination of nutritional supplements and therapeutic measures for their patients. The use of minerals is common in Ayurvedic medicine. Many of the minerals that are recommended for daily use are water soluble and therefore pass through the gastrointestinal tract without creating problems. Unfortunately, there are some metals that cannot be used in the diet due to their molecular size or because they are toxic. Ayurvedic doctors restrict the use of such metals in Ayurvedic formulations.
Copper is one such mineral that cannot be consumed in large quantities, but its use is permitted in few preparations of Ayurvedic medicine. It has been found to stimulate digestive activities and improve digestion. Copper is one of the minerals that is commonly used in Ayurvedic formulations. Other metals that are commonly used in Ayurvedic medicines containing trace amounts of copper are zinc and selenium.
There are also certain minerals that are not used in Ayurvedic formulations, but form a vital constituent of herbal cures. Some of these include cobalt, selenium, nickel and manganese. Ayurvedic practitioners and researchers are still looking for other minerals that might prove to have applications in curing certain conditions.
Metallic salts are used in Ayurvedic formulations due to their ability to stimulate bio-energy and increase the effectiveness of certain medicines. They are used mainly in cold treatments to relieve symptoms associated with influenza and chronic fatigue syndrome. Many herbal cures also contain metallic salts. For example, Indian gooseberry (Withania somnifera), golden seal (Aegle marmelos), goat’s milk, yellow dock (Ananas cosmosus) and white willow (Santalum album) are used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat asthma and rhinitis. Similarly, Chinese wolfberry (Cyperus rotundus) and milkweed (Amaranthus polygamus) are used to treat anemia and hematuria. Similarly, goldenseal and sheep sorrel (Ricinus communis) are used to treat leprosy.
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